Monday, November 15, 2010

Help For A Friend

Remember that friend from grade school who always made you laugh...laugh to the point where milk was coming out of your nose?  Well, that was my friend Courtney.  Courtney was everything you could want in an elementary school friend...she was kind, she was intelligent, she wore cool clothes and had a pool in her backyard!  Of course, what was important then isn't quite as important now!  Courtney and I have been friends since the 3rd grade when I transferred from a Catholic school to the neighborhood public school.  Courtney and I remained friends through the awful junior high years, lost touch a bit through high school, but re-connected in college.  I even had the pleasure to room with her our junior year!  I can't remember the last time I laughed as much as I did that year!  Now 10 years out of college, Courtney and I still get a chance to chat once in a while.  While she has been very busy raising three little boys, she has been there every step of the way with Lily.  Courtney has supported us in every fundraiser that we have done for congenital heart defect awareness.  Put simply, Courtney has a heart of gold.  Now it is my turn to help her...

Courtney and her family have decided to adopt a little girl from Ethiopia to give her a chance at a better life.  The expenses to adopt a child from Ethiopia exceed $25,000!  Courtney and her family have started a blog to journal about their adoption experience.  They have also set up several fundraisers to help defray the travel expenses to and from Ethiopia.

The family is currently selling t-shirts.  The cost is $10.  If you are interested leave a comment on her blog.

In January there will be a bean bag tournament held at Courtside.  The cost is $10 per person.

All coffee lovers:  There is a link on Courtney's blog to a website that sells coffee.  For each bag of coffee you buy, the family will receive $5.

If you link to Courtney's blog, there is also a donation site through PayPal!

Whatever child is chosen for Courtney and her family, she will be one lucky little girl!  She will grow up surrounded by love and three older brothers who will protect her.  Lastly, please say a little prayer that all things go smoothly!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

When in Rome...

Where did we go this weekend?

Okay, so we didn't actually make it to Rome...but close!

This weekend was unlike our normal weekends.  Most weekends Russ is spending time at work fixing a truck, working on the recycling line or fixing some other piece of equipment.  However, this past Friday night Russ came home from work and asked if we wanted to take Ellie to Wisconsin Dells for a night...that meant we had daddy to ourselves the whole weekend!!  And what a great weekend it was!

We made our reservations at Hotel Rome which is a part of the Mt. Olympus Theme Park.  Mt Olympus has an indoor and outdoor waterpark and an indoor and outdoor theme park.  The place was plenty big for a three year old to wear herself out, as well as mom and dad!  We left Saturday about noon after dropping Lily off at grandma and grandpa's house.  We figured we would arrive in Wisconsin Dells about two, however, after missing a turn and too many potty stops we got there about 3:30.  We were able to get right into our hotel room, dropped our things and headed to the outdoor theme park.  There were roller coasters, go cart tracks, and some little rides for Ellie.  She rode on the hot air balloon ride and the airplane ride, but by far her favorite were the go-carts, or racecars as she calls them.  She had a smile from ear to ear everytime I looked at her riding the go carts with daddy!  It was just priceless!

After grabbing some supper Ellie was thrilled to check out the indoor water park.  We had such a blast here!  We tried out the Lazy River but that wasn't quite her thing!  So next we tried out the waterslides...and these were some fast waterslide, ya know the kind where ya hit the water at the end and get a major wedgie?!  We couldn't get her off of the slides.  Really, I think they need some escalators to the top of these slides.  I was pooped just from walking up the stairs half a dozen times with the intertube and child in tow!  We finally did convince her to check out the Sunken Pirate Ship which is an area designated for younger kids.  Here Russ and I could relax while Ellie played on all the slides.  It was so great to see how much fun she was having!

Finally, we decided it would be best to head back to the hotel room before she got too tired!  All three of us snuggled up in bed and watched some SpongeBob before falling asleep.  I thought for sure since she had such a busy day that she would sleep in...not quite!  She was up at 6:45 and ready to go exploring again.  We told her we would take her back out to the go carts since those were her favorite but since it was a little rainy they closed the outdoor theme park, but they opened the indoor theme park.  Here we got to ride go-carts again, rode bumper cars, rode in a big bus that went way up in the air and played in the Alien Ball Pit.  And of course the trip wouldn't be complete without a stop in the Arcade!  By noon, Ellie was looking a little tired so we decided to take a quick trip to the outlet mall before heading back home.

 I think Russ and I actually enjoyed this part more than Ellie.  These cannon gun things shot foam balls across the ball pit so we were having some fun with some other little boys shooting back and forth!

Overall, we had an amazing weekend.  Although all three of us missed Lily like crazy it was wonderful to be able to spend some time with just Ellie.  And she was just a little tantrums, no meltdowns...just unbelievably perfect!  I could not have asked for anything more from her!  This is a trip we will definitely be repeating again!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

All About Lily

It seems whenever I decide to update our blog I can never figure out how to start, even though I have so much to say.  I thought I would dedicate this post to Lily since she will be hitting some pretty big milestones this month; turning 18 months and being 1 yr post-op!

We'll start with her cardiology check up in Iowa City.  When we originally scheduled he cardiology appointment we purposely scheduled it on the same day with an ENT Dr.  Lily has had so many ear infections since last September we decided to have tubes put in and see if that works.  Because we had to fit all of these appointment in in one day it was decided that Lily would have an un-sedated echo.  Many of you have seen Lily in action and she doesn't sit still for very long.  The thought of having an un-sedated echo just didn't sit well with me.  I kept thinking if she didn't lay still they wouldn't get good pictures and I wanted to make sure that everything was checked over really well and we didn't miss anything.  Fortunately for us she was amazing.  I couldn't believe how well she laid there on the bed watching Sesame Street and before we knew it, she was fast asleep.  Actually the whole day she was just incredible.  The chest x-rays have always caused her tears and fits.  They lay her on a long table and put some weights on her arms and legs to hold them down...and if that isn't bad enough, I have to move behind the wall to avoid the radiation.  She surprised the heck out of my by just laying there and letting the techs get all the pics they needed.  Lastly, we had the EKG done and again, she was just perfect.  Overall, I couldn't have asked for her to behave any better.  It is almost like she knew what had to be done!  Dr Reinking came back with all the results of the tests, etc and everything looks just great for her.  Her heart function is really good and her oxygen saturations are holding in the 80's...all good news!!  We don't have to go back for another 6 months...yippee!!

The following day we were in Iowa City to her Lily's tubes out in her ears.  It was an early morning leaving the house at 4:00 am so we could be there at 6:00 am.  I thought like in the past we would be able to walk back into the operating room and hold her as they put her to sleep.  However, they decided to give her a little something to relax her and before you know it she was in the arms of the Dr and he took her back into the operating room.  Because of Lily's heart condition we had to make sure that we had an anesthesiologist who works with pediatric heart patients and we had to be in the main operating room in case anything should happen during surgery.  Fortunately all went smoothly and in less than 30 minutes they told us everything went great and she was being moved to the recovery room.  By 9:00 she had recovered enough from the anesthesia that we were able to leave.  So far things have been great with her ears.  We go back to the ENT in the beginning of November to have her tubes checked...wish us luck!

In other news we have begun the fun task of potty-training Lily.  When we first introduced her to the potty I would sit down with her in the morning and we would sing songs while she was sitting on the potty.  We are in a pretty consistent routine now of getting up in the morning, enjoying a little cuddle time and then we head to the potty.  The first thing she does when she sits on the potty are the actions to the Itsy Bitsy Spider.  I guess that is her favorite potty time song.  Something else that we have used during our potty time routine is sign language.  Of course we use potty, but also the signs for more, all done, wash and good job.  I am amazed how quickly she picked up on the signs for our potty time routine.

Lily has been in an actual daycare center now since school started and she has adjusted really well.  She is beginning to be very verbal, in fact, I would say she has become quite sassy!  She is a girl who definitely knows what she wants and when she doesn't get it...boy, you'd better watch out!  I think part of that attitude is probably our fault since we tend to spoil her a bit.  She's been through a lot so she deserves it!!

Something we are not looking forward to is cold and flu season.  We are waiting to her from Lily's pediatrician to see if she will be able to receive the RSV vaccinations again this year.  They don't think it should be a problem but you just never know with insurance companies.  Pray that these are approved for Lily because getting RSV would take a huge toll on Lily.

We are looking forward to Halloween this year.  Last year we celebrated Halloween with Lily in the PICU.  She has her bi-directional glenn surgery on October 29th of last year so we are just about to the one-year anniversary of that.  WOW!  A year already!  This year we are heading over to my brother and sister-in-law's house for chili on Halloween night and then taking the girls trick or treating.  I can't wait to see my little witch and black cat all dressed up!

Hoping everyone is having a great fall so far!  I will leave off with a few cute pics of our little Lily Bug!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Horsey-Riding, Tap-Dancing Kind of Girl

Recently, Ellie started a tap dancing class.  She is so excited each Monday to get her tutu on, and her tights and of course, her "tap tap" shoes!

 In the past, she has gone to gymnastics class, Tot Lot and preschool without any fear or tears.  But to our surprise, she cried the first day of tap class.  She came running out of class hysterically crying.  As hard as it was, I handed her off kicking and screaming to the teacher who took her into the class.  Moments later, there was no crying to be heard.  However, she decided to sit and just watch the first tap class.  So this past Monday she was hurrying around the house looking for her tutu and "tap tap" shoes, ready to get dressed and go to tap class.  There were no tears and she walked in the class ready to tap away...or so I thought!  Turns out Ellie decided she was just going to be a spectator.  Her instructor said she was sprawled out on the floor enjoying watching the other girls!  So we've decided at this point to give it a couple more weeks.  Hopefully she will get over her shyness and start to participate.

Now, tap dancing at home is a whole other story.  In fact, Ellie is so talented she can tap dance and ride her pony at the same time!!

And of course it wouldn't be quite "Ellie" unless she was riding her pony and tap dancing without pants!!

Tomorrow (Thursday) is Lily's 6-month cardiology check - up!  We are hoping for all good news and no surprises.  On Friday, we will be in Iowa City again to have tubes places in Lily's ears.  Since last September she has had 13 ear infections.  We are hoping these tubes help!  Please say a little prayer that our Lily Bug has a good appointment and the tubes help alleviate some of the ear infections.

Happy Fall Everyone!!

The Duves

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Looks Who's Three!

Just three short years ago we welcomed Ellie Jane Duve into our family at 2:31 pm.  Ellie was 7 lbs, 8 oz and 20.5 inches long.  From the start, she was our cuddle bug.  She is still our little cuddle bug, taking every chance she can get to cuddle up with us.  Ellie will always hold a special place in my heart...she was the reason I was able to be called a mother!  I love you Ellie Jane!

             First day home from the hospital

            Nothing but trouble...

            But she sure looks sweet doesn't she?

            Ellie and her friend Nora

             Proud big sister!

            First day of school!

            Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Every Heart Has a Story

A fellow heart mom, Stefanie, has put together a great blog event to help families connect with other families going through similar situations.  I have decided to join the event and tell "Lily's Story."

Our heart journey began on December 4, 2008 when we found out that our unborn daughter most likely had a complex congenital heart defect.  We were absolutely devastated.  Our doctor referred us to the University of Iowa Hospitals and they confirmed what we feared…our daughter did indeed have a congenital heart defect that would require open-heart surgery shortly after birth. 

The months leading up to Lily’s birth were an emotional roller coaster.  On one hand we couldn’t wait for the birth so we could meet our daughter.  But on the other hand I wanted to keep her inside because that was a safe place for her.

On April 22, 2009, Lily Mae Duve was born weighing 7 lbs, 12 ounces.  She was 20 ½ inches long.  We saw her for a brief minute before she was whisked away to the NICU.  It was 6 long hours before I got to officially meet Lily.  She was beautiful, even under all the IVs, wires and tubes.  Lily was officially diagnosed as having a criss-cross heart (extremely rare), transposition of the great arteries, a vsd and mild pulmonary stenosis.

For the next 10 days, Lily stayed in the NICU, getting stronger, learning to eat from a bottle and showing the doctors just who was boss…boy, was she a feisty one!  I guess that comes from the red hair!  I finally got to hold Lily was she was almost a week old.  It was the best feeling in the world.  I just looked at her in amazement and admired her strength.  Lily was then moved to the PICU to get her ready for her upcoming surgery. 

On Monday morning, May 4th, Lily was taken into surgery.  I cannot describe the helpless feeling I felt as my newborn daughter was wheeled away with all her tubes and wires through the big double doors of the operating room.  About 2 pm Lily was wheeled back to the PICU and the surgeon came to talk to us.  Things hadn’t gone as planned.  The placement of the BT Shunt was successful but every time they would clamp off the pulmonary artery, her heart would stop.  This was heartbreaking news.  I had been looking forward to the surgeons coming in to tell us that everything was a success and we would be on the road to recovery and heading home.  Unfortunately, Lily had other plans.  It was back to the drawing board for the cardiologists and the surgeons.  When I saw Lily for the first time after surgery I just broke down.  This wasn’t the baby that I had sent into surgery.  The baby that I sent into surgery was pink, this baby that was wheeled back into her room was gray.  My baby was full of life, and this baby lay almost lifeless hooked up to so many machines and IVs that I couldn’t even count.  I felt a huge sense of guilt for sending her into surgery.  I felt like it was my fault that she looked the way she did and I can’t even imagine how she was feeling.  And to make things worse, they were asking me to send her in to surgery again…in only 4 days.

On May 8, Lily went in for her second open-heart surgery.  All heart surgeries are risky, but this was even more risky because they would be putting her on by-pass, meaning they would be stopping her heart to work on it.  They let us know in not so many words, that if this surgery didn’t work, they wouldn’t know where to go from here.  Basically, they would have no other options.  The time drug out slowly, until finally we heard from the doctors.  The surgery was a success!

My little miracle baby began to recover and before we knew it we were being moved down to the general pediatric floor.  Moving to the pediatric floor was awesome!  I finally felt for the first time like I was her caretaker, her mother!  I could pick her up and hold her whenever and for how long I wanted.  She could finally begin to eat real meals.  We were no longer measuring her meals in CCs but in actual ounces!  Lily made an amazing recovery and we were headed home 8 days after her open-heart surgery!

Life at home was pretty.  She very much seemed like a normal baby to us, despite the doctor appointments and medications.  Lily continued to grow and meet all her milestones right on time.  We knew though, that once again we would be heading to Iowa City for the second stage of her three stage repair.  When Lily was 6 months old, near the end of October 2009 we made the dreaded trip again.  All of the anxieties were setting in again-how long would we be away from home, how would big sister Ellie handle being away from us again, how could I let them take her into that operating room again, would she come out the same vibrant baby she was before, or would she not come out at all?  It broke my heart to imagine her going through another open heart surgery.

On October 28, 2009, we put our trust in the surgeons and our faith in God and handed over our precious baby.  This time around was a little different for me.  I felt a sense of peace and calmness when she was in surgery.  I knew God was with her and taking care of her and I knew she would come out of the operating room safely.  Mid-afternoon, Dr. Davis came in to let us know that things had gone very routinely and Lily would be heading up to her room in the PICU very soon.  Lily’s recovery went very smoothly and we left Iowa City only 5 days after her surgery.

Again life returned to normal for our family.  It has been nearly 6 months since Lily was last seen by her cardiologist.  Lily will have another surgery around the time she is 3 years old, but we don’t think about that.  We spend our time just enjoying each day with.

Lily’s is an inspiration to everyone in our family.  We thank God everyday that Lily is still here with us.  Things could have taken a very different path, but the miracle workers at the University of Iowa gave our daughter a chance at a normal life and for that we will forever be grateful.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

15 Months!

My goodness!  Where has time gone?  Today Lily is 15 months so I thought I would share some of the things she has accomplished recently!

 Lily decided to serve herself.  This is what ended up on her tray, the rest of the bag ended up on the floor!

*  Lily started walking shortly after her first birthday, however, running seems to be her new method of transportation.
*  She has mastered the stairs, finally going down backwards!
*  Lily can sign "all done,"  "more" and we have been working on "thank you!"
*  Lily can say mommy, daddy, ball, kitty, milk and barks like a dog.
*  Lily is a champion eater, rarely leaving anything on her plate.
*  Lily has figured out how to push "Play" on the DVD player (from her sister I suppose)
*  Lily can pick up her toys.
*  Lily is really starting to enjoy the pool and wants to walk in the deeper water by her sissy.
*  Lily can use a fork and a spoon but I would not recommend being within 6 feet of her when she is
*  Lily is starting to pick up books on her own and look at them rather than try to tear the pages.
*  Lily's LOVES to throw her diapers away on her own.

Playing in the giant water table at the Mississippi River Museum

We have been so blessed to have been given Lily.  She has taught us more in her 15 months than many people learn in a lifetime.  Her stubborness, persistence and determination are what have gotten her where she is today.  Somedays it is so easy to forget that she has any medical conditions at all!  Lily, you truly are a gift from God.

Mommy and her little miracle!

On another note, funding for a Dubuque chapter of Heart Friends has been approved for one year!!  Also, this Saturday night at Cascade High School the Dubuque Bruisers, a semi-pro football team, will play to help raise awareness Congenital Heart Defects.  We will be there to share Lily's story so please join us!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Fun

This summer is just flying by.  It seems like just yesterday I was saying goodbye to my class of 8th graders on the last day of school, and now here we are, mid-July!

Ellie has been enjoying the outdoors a couple days a week at Tot Lot.  At Tot Lot she gets to play with other preschoolers, do arts and crafts, sing songs, play games and play on the playground.  I love it because it gives me a chance to run errands around town with just one child in tow, and it totally wipes her out.  She is more than ready for a nap when she comes home.  Ellie loves it because she gets to carry a bookbag and take a water bottle.  She NEVER lets me forget these two things in the morning.  I still can't believe how big she is getting and how independent she has become.  She has a new bedtime routine that started about a two weeks ago.  We've always tried to read to Ellie before she goes to bed but lately she has wanted to continue reading after we have read to her so we decided to get a timer and put it on her lamp.  It gives her about 30 minutes to read as much as she wants and then when the light goes off she knows that it is time to go to sleep.  This way we don't have to be the bad parents that come in and turn her light off and tell her it is time to go to bed:)

Ellie started swim lessons this week.  The first day was a little rough...she thought she was there to play so she kept wandering away from her teacher, but since she has gotten the hang of it and is having a great time.  She is such a fish she would stay in the pool all day if you let her, but she sinks like a rock just like her dad so we thought swim lessons might be in order.  Ellie is also officially signed up for preschool this fall.  She is so excited to go and I am so excited for her as well.  Ellie has been in a wonderful in-home daycare since she was 6 weeks old so this is going to be a big change for her.  I know she is going to love it though!

A few funny moments from Ellie:

*  She had a meltdown the other morning when the sippy cup I gave her DID NOT match her pajamas!
*  While with her cousin Kalyn the other day she saw a dead fly on the window sill and told Kalyn it ran out of batteries!

Lily is enjoying summer vacation with mom at home.  We get to spend a lot of time together since Ellie goes to Tot Lot twice a week and I cherish every minute of it.  I find it hard to believe how far she has come in the past year.  Lily and I are in a play group that formed out of one of my Baby Signs classes.  We spend one night a month with these kiddos and their parents.  Next Wednesday we are going to Storybook Hill Zoo which is a petting zoo in Dubuque.  It also has a little train that is pulled around by a riding mower.  I'm thinking she is going to like that, not so sure about the animals.  She has inherited her sister's fear and her mother's dislike of dogs!

As far as Lily's health goes, she really is doing great.  We had a few times I questioned her sweating so much but Dr assured us that she is fine and is not in heart failure.  We have been in again recently for an ear infection.  I am pretty sure this is about #9 since September.  I really thought once cold season ended the ear infections would end too, but I guess not!

Though our summer has been busy we were able to sneak away for a mini-vacation to Winona, Minnesota.  Our family has been going to Winona since both my brother and I were little so it is really nice that we are able to take the girls up as well.  We went up over the 4th of July weekend and got a chance to get out on the Mississippi River.  Ellie and my brother's daughter rode up with my parents early Friday morning so they got a chance to play at the river's edge and at the neighbor's waterslide.  On Saturday we all went out to a beach for some swimming and playing in the sand and we all came home on Sunday.  Although we had fun spending time with family and just getting away, it was definitly time to come home.  The girls needed to get back to their own beds and get back into their routine!
               Lily on the way up to Winona, MN.  She couldn't keep her hands out of the food basket!

                                                Ellie going down the slide at the beach!

                                                  Lily all ready for a ride in the golf cart.

This past weekend we had a chance to go to the National Mississippi River Museum here in Dubuque.   We have been here several other times, but recently they opened another section and it was wonderful.  There is an interactive kids area where the kids can play in water, put in dams, float boats, turn a water wheel, etc.  Both Ellie and Lily had a great time playing in the water.  They also have a 3D or 4D theater (not sure which?) that shows movies about water related things.  I think the current one is about sharks.  While sitting in the theater you chair can shake, water can spray on you, etc.  We didn't get to go into the theater but plan on making a trip there very soon.

 Before I end this I want to ask all of you to pray for community of Bellevue, just south of Dubuque.  At their 4th of July parade some horses pulling a carriage got spooked and took off down the street and through the crowds injuring many and killing one. The last of the injured have recently been released from the hospital in Iowa City.  I have several relatives, friends and co-workers that live in Bellevue and thankfully none of them were injured but the incident has affected the entire community.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying cool on these hot and humid days!

With Love,
The Duves

Friday, June 11, 2010

Why I Teach

I often wonder what I would be doing if I didn't become a teacher.  I can never come up with a good answer...nursing I suppose, although the thought of needles just gives me the chills so I don't think I would be all that great.  So why did I go into teaching?  Well, having summers off and a Christmas break is a definite plus!  I also enjoy working with kids and trying to make a difference in their lives.  But some years you wonder if you ever really reach any of your students?  Sure, I may have taught them about the atrocities of the Holocaust during our Anne Frank/Night study, or they may have learned how to solve equations in Algebra, but teaching goes so much deeper than that.  Its about teaching life lessons as well.  This year at school has been one filled with quite a bit of tragedy.  Just about a year ago we lost a 6th grade student in a car accident while he was traveling with his boy scout troop.  In the fall, one of our students lost his mother unexpectedly to an anyerisum, another student lost his mother to infection and another student lost his brother to a lengthy illness.  What I have really tried to teach my students is to appreciate life, do the things and say the things that you would if you knew it were going to be the last time you were going to see someone.  We never know when life is going to throw us one of those curveballs.  I'm not sure if I ever got through to them or not with this message, but with her permission, I wanted to share a letter sent to me by one of my students.  This is the reason I teach...

Dear Mrs. Duve,

    I am so grateful for everything you have done for me over the past year! I know that you were my Math teacher, and the best one I ever had, but you taught me so much more than that! You taught me to accept everyone, even those who do not learn as quickly or the same way as I do! You also taught me something no one else could have ever taught me. You taught me that there are kids out there who need my help, who are fighting everyday and not enough people realize that! You are the best math teacher ever, but you teach so much more!
    I do not learn math fast and I do not understand things very well, but you never got frustrated or gave up on me! During my year with you, I began to understand. I may not be the fastest person to solve the problem, but I know how to do it and when I take my time to solve it, I can get the right answer. I have never had a Math teacher who took the time, even before school, to try to make me understand the math. When you did that it made me feel like you really cared if I succeeded! You took the time and because of that I now understand and have more confidence in myself!
    Along with Math, you taught me that everyone is different! Everyone has things going on in their personal lives, but somehow you carry on anyway! When I did the Heart Walk, it made me feel like I was helping people who were going threw a difficult time in their lives! It amazes me that you can be a great Math teacher and great mom to Ellie and Lily! Your girls should be very proud of their mom and who she is to her students! I learned a life lesson I wouldn’t give up for the world when I found out about Lily. Lily is truly an inspiration for me, and I thought you should know that! Lily never stops fighting, but neither do you! I hope that someday I will be able to appreciate life and good health half as much as your family does! Ellie is also an inspiration for me, because she goes along with it. She continues to allow Lily to have attention and she never complained during the Heart Walk! What this means to me is that you are a strong enough person to be a great mom to the two most deserving little girls and be the most inspiring and best Math teacher ever!
    You have taught me so much more than I ever thought you would! All kids out there deserve to know you and see how great you are! You should know that you gave me confidence and the willingness to achieve in math which I never thought was possible! Please continue to carry on, both in teaching and being a great mom! I don’t even know the rest of your family that well and I can tell that you are an amazing relative to your family. If everyone could have you as a teacher, we would have a smarter population in both math and life! Please say Hello to Ellie and Lily for me and know that I think they are two of the cutest kids I have ever seen! I will continue to pray for your family, look at you carepages site, and check-in on your blog! Know that your family is in my family prayers even long after I am gone!

                        Thank You So Much for Everything,
                                Kayla Schueller

This letter reaffirms to me that this is where God has chosen me to the classroom.  This is my calling!  The letter to brought me to tears and made my day.  This school year could not have ended on a better note!  Happy Summer!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Family Pictures

We had our family pictures taken for the 1st time since Lily was born.  I picked out a few of our favorites to share...Enjoy!